Heya, Humboldt! I don't know what's caused the explosion, but here we are in the middle of summer and in addition to festival madness — how about that Folklife Fest?! — you've got a whole slew of shows coming at you.
First, the 30th annual Reggae on the River is coming up July 31 through Aug. 3 — get your irie on with Jimmy Cliff, Alpha Blondy, Third World, Israel Vibration, Michael Rose, Sly & Robbie with The Taxi Gang and Mutabaruka, plus more, more, more. See www.mateel.org for the full lineup and info.
Now, let's get to your rock, funk and bluegrass options.
Friday: Dig deep, dance hard, goth out
When's the last time you went to the Digger? Exactly. What a perfect opportunity to head out to the Clam Beach Inn — with your designated driver, natch — and witness Humboldt skate rockers Imperial Destructo, the punk-blues (emphasis on punk) stylings of Nebraska's Saint Christopher and the "scum folk" of Montana's Whiskey Hooves. I'm guessing the show's got a $3 cover and a 9 p.m.-ish start time, and am positive it's 21-and-over.
Maybe loud, dirty punk rock is not your thing. Maybe you'd like to shake your booty, which is just another way to stick it to the man, amirite? (For a long time, I thought the line was, "Free your mind and your ass will follow.") The Jambalaya hosts a free dance throwdown with Humboldt Roller Derby DJ King Maxwell and Soul Night vet Jay Morg emphasizing 1970s breakbeats, degenerate disco stunners and bass-heavy boogie tunes. You may start looking for some hot love around 9:30 p.m.
What if you want more temperate than revolutionary punk, but more somber than disco madness? The Alibi's offering the Shrouds & Shadows Tour 2014, a sweet lineup of post-punk cover bands. To wit: Dead Souls (a tribute to Joy Division), plus The Reptile House (a tribute to The Sisters of Mercy), plus Spellbound (a tribute to Siouxsie and the Banshees). Cover is $7, music starts around 11 p.m., 21-and-over.
Saturday: Remembering Tina, festive festivals, burlesque, dreamy pop and sludge
On a more serious note — although I sense the event will be as much celebration as memorial — a bunch of former/current denizens of the Humboldt County punk scene are hosting Tina Bina Boob Ops Wake, a gig/remembrance for Tina Fraser, who passed away from cancer earlier this year. Tina was the sister of Tyce Fraser, who sang in Eggly Bagelface and other bands in the '80s, and photographed and made flyers for several shows. In honor of her role in the music scene, the memorial begins with a flyer/art show at T's Café North (formerly Crosswinds) at 6 p.m. Then The Buffy Swayze and Guns & Barrels will play at Humboldt Brew from 8 to 10 p.m. The entire event is open to the public, no cover, but donations will be accepted to cover expenses. At press time, organizers were hoping to make it all ages.
Meanwhile, more summer festival fun continues out Lost Coast way with Roll on the Mattole, the annual Honeydew Volunteer Fire Co. fundraiser. This year's lineup features Absynth Quintet, Moonshine Mountain Band, Ishi Dube, DJ Marjo Lak, Asleep in a Creek, F-Holes on the Hill and Lost Coast Marimbas, plus the firefighter's challenge, an oyster bar, Rex Bohn auctioneer excitement and so much more. The event runs from noon 'til midnight. Tickets are $25 adults, $20 students and seniors, children under 12 free with adult.
Back in the northerly region of Humboldt, The Blue Lake Music Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. in Perigot Park with Woven Roots, Motherlode, Silver Hammer, Jimi-Jeff and the Gypsy Band, Crossbones, Mojo Brown, Doug Fir and the 2x4s, The Movers and the Shakers and Abstract. Entry free is $10 "if you can afford it."
The Caravan of GLAM, Portland's queer cabaret troupe, brings a night full of debauchery, raffles and off-the-wall performances to the Jambalaya with DJs Pressure Anya providing the evening's soundtrack. The troupe consists of all genres of performers: drag, burlesque (male and female), S&M, acrobats, comedians, singers, gymnasts and sideshow performers. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 10 p.m., tickets are $10 general and $20 VIP. Do I need to tell you it's 21-and-over?
Over in E-town, you can sway and smile to the dreamy psych pop of Austin's Technicolor Hearts at the Palm Lounge. Also performing, locals The Fairy Rings and a special solo performance by guitar slinger Erin Cearley. Free, 9 p.m., 21-and-over.
But wait, that's not all! See what I mean about this week? You'd think it was October. At the Alibi, Conneticut's Sea of Bones delivers heavy atmospheric sludge joined by trippy Golden Staters Mystics in Bali. Music starts around 11 p.m., cover's $5, 21-and-over.
Sunday: Day of Rest
Go to the river or something.
The Siren's Song Tavern is the site once again of a fun, fun show, this time with Ruby Pins, all quiet vocals and louder sounds that wander the pop gamut, Silver Shadows, described as "Veruca Salt meets Lush," and our very own Monster Women. All ages and free at 8 p.m.
Tuesday: Punk's not dead
Another all ages, sure-to-be-loud punk gig courtesy of Placebo. Do you like raucous? Go see Savageheads (no relation), Shit Rag, THZ and SFB, all for $5 nonmembers, $3 members. No drugs or alcohol, guys.
Wednesday: The circle game
Here we go with another Songwriter Circle of Death. Number VI takes place Wednesday, July 30 at the Shanty — fun! — and features TheBoredAgain, Aimee Taylor, Dim Din and Courtney Luv. If you're new to SCOD, it's just like it sounds, although not with literal death. Our esteemed local singer-songwriters of various genres get together, do their thing. In a circular fashion. Music starts at 10 p.m., cover is $5, 21-and-over.
Put a big ol' X on your calendar
More next week on all these, but heads up that you've got a massive Thursday, July 31 night coming up with Washington folk punks Ask Sophie at the Alibi, Drag City Records stars Dead Rider at the Jambalaya and New Zealand's influential David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights at the Logger. Summertime!
Full show listings in the Journal's Music and More grid, the Eight Days a Week calendar and online. Bands and promoters, send your gig info, preferably with a high-res photo or two, to email@example.com.